Planning Is Not The Same As Dreaming

Here are some great initial processing thoughts about GENE 2014 from my friend Danny Franks, Connections Pastor at Summit RDU.

Connective Tissue

Somebody's gotta launch Lego Church. Might as well be us. Somebody’s gotta launch Lego Church. Might as well be us.

I spent the last few days in a guest services geek’s dreamland: I was fortunate enough to sit around a table with seventeen of the sharpest church hospitality minds in the country. We came from churches of different backgrounds (from maybe-sorta-traditional to hey-wow-you’re-not-traditional-at-all), churches of different sizes (from really big to good-glory-are-you-a-church-or-the-population-of-Montana), and churches with varying philosophies and approaches to how we do just about everything.

But one thing united us all, and that’s our vision that churches nationwide must step up to reach those who are far from Jesus. In addition to being missional communities who send people out, we have to be attractional communities that welcome people in. It’s not either/or, it’s both/and.

By the time the first sixty minutes of our conversation had elapsed, my brain was full. I picked off enough ideas and “aha!” moments…

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GENE 2014 – First Look

Over the last three days, 18 of the top leaders in church Guest Experiences gathered to answer this question:

What would the DNA of the ultimate Guest Experience look like?

Details will follow, but I wanted to share a few representative photos:


Participants in the Guest Experience Networking Event 2014 at work creating a Guest Journey Map.



Danny Franks describes his team’s work in creating the ultimate parking experience for their “church.”



Pondering the best ideas for vehicle and pedestrian traffic flow.


Charting problems solved...

Charting problems solved…

Table writing...

Table writing…

One-upping Einstein.

One-upping Einstein.

Designing the DNA of the Ultimate Guest Experience for Churches

What happens when 18 of the best church Guest Experience minds in the country get together to design the DNA of the Ultimate Guest Experience for churches?



I don’t know…

…but it’s happening over the next 4 days, so I’ll let you know next week!

Guest Experience Networking Event

Imagine a laboratory filled with 18 of the most creative church Guest Experience practitioners from around the country…


…a lab with blank walls and lots of chart tablets and markers.
…a lab surrounded by the energy and vibe of creatives at work.
…a lab stocked with snacks of every kind imaginable.
…a non-scheduled framework guided by a host but driven by participant interaction.
…a lab where Guest Experience leaders share their best practices with others.
…a collaborative learning opportunity with no limits.



GENE Therapy